Yesterday afternoon was just another typcial early-evening use of time in the Van Vleet home; I was working in the kitchen and Halle was keeping herself busy at the table with some things she had found to color and write on. Times like those are often filled with fun conversations. She loves to relay bits of information from books she is reading or she is seeking answers for things that are puzzling to her (it is not out of the ordinary for her to bring up very random out-of-the blue questions). So when she started up an inquiring conversation about drugs, I didn’t see it as a special situation where I should be concerned about replying with a well thought-out answer. It never occurred to me to ask what triggered her question or what exactly she wanted to know, so I proceeded with the first train of thought that popped into my mind. Prescription drugs and going to CVS to get medicine were the two things that surfaced first. And because those are both positive aspects about drugs, my answer involved a very positive opinion of drugs; the necessity for them and how they help people. Well that response seemed to suffice for Halle. The conversation ended, she went back to some writing and I continued on in the kitchen (not giving any more thought on the matter).
It wasn’t until this morning that I discovered what had prompted her to ask about drugs. It turns out she had found this wooden ruler for kids that could be colored and decorated. One side had the words printed, ‘just say no’ next to drawings of little kids playing. The other side said, ‘MAKE IT A RULE-Say NO to Drugs.’ But I saw that a modification had been made; the word ‘no’ was scratched out and replaced with ‘yes.’ And I immediately understood why!! It was because of my mini-lesson on drugs the previous day that Halle had concluded this ruler was incorrect in its claim. She decided it was necessary to make an adjustment to this message so that anyone who looks at it now will be properly informed on what to do with drugs.
I guess I should be pleased that she places trust in me and the insight she thinks I have. It should be a good thing that she believes my words of wisdom surpass that of any printed form from unknown sources. But I now realize that I need to be more aware of the context of Halle’s questions. And I wonder just how many of her inquiries in the past have received answers that have thwarted a proper and thorough understanding?!?!